02 September 2006

Say kids, What time is it?

by Phil Johnson

t's Saturday, so this must be BlogSpotting. We got a ton of stuff here. So settle in and be prepared to spend a few hours working through these links:

  • Cindy Swanson lists us in some rarefied company. Incidentally, you should read her recent post titled "Some things need to be remembered..." (And be sure to notice the amazing first comment in response to that post). Also in the same vein, follow the link to her post about my friend Don Elbourne, a Louisiana pastor whose church building was destroyed by Katrina. She has attached some sound bites from her radio interview with Don that are worth listening to.

  • Wayne from "Ekklesia" finds a blog in Antarctica that reminds him of Jeff Williams.

  • Eric Rung notes how frequently the New Testament warns believers about wolves in sheep's clothing, and he thinks Dan's description of such deceivers as "spiritual terrorists" is apt.

  • James Kubecki liked Dan's description of the anti-intellectualism on the post-evangelical side of the religious spectrum: "Their religion is a Schleiermacheranian mish-mash of feelings and sentimentality. . ."

  • Steve Riedy, Candleman, is baffled and thinks I "really missed the mark" by refusing to call out one particular blog in my "Guilt by Association." post. I hope to reply to Steve and others who share his view sometime between now and Monday evening.

  • Bud Brown thinks we have dissed his compatriot "Antonio" unfairly by deleting an off-topic post. Tell you what: one day we'll host a thread on the only topic Antonio ever brings up: the gospel according to Zane Hodges. Meanwhile, if it seems I haven't taken Antonio seriously, that's because he has made it obvious all over the blogosphere that he is not really serious. I'm not going to waste time trying to engage someone seriously on a serious doctrinal issue when his trademark style is the drive-by comment on blog after blog in thread after thread where the topic under discussion wasn't even his pet issue to begin with. Especially here. In other words, we're going to abide by the blogrules, whether the nattering nabobs of no-lordship doctrine like it or not. OK?

  • northWord (Suz) at "suffice it to say" started a blog so she could comment here. She finds us "brusque, and maybe a few pennies short in the humble purse"—point taken—but she gets it. And she has some very nice things to say. She can't remember how she found us, but she thinks it might have had something to do with "Way of the Master Radio."

    The 'Way of the Master' gang L. to R.: Ray Comfort, Todd Friel, Kirk Cameron
    That reminds me: I keep meaning to give a brief review of "Way of the Master Radio" with Todd "Freakishly Tall" Friel. I really like this program, and I really, really like to hear Todd Friel when he does a riff on something he feels strongly about. If you have never listened to WoTM Radio, you need to tune into their podcast. Start with this one, in which Todd answers an atheist's YouTube film, defends imputation, explains substitutionary atonement, refers to our friend Tim Challies, remarks (briefly but tellingly) about Brian McLaren and Rob Bell, uses the kids at your local Chuck E. Cheese as vivid proof that even young children are depraved—and a whole lot more. Todd is an inexhaustible reservoir of energy and enthusiasm, and while he is perhaps no Robert Reymond, he is sharp enough theologically. (Meaning that he is about ten-thousand times more well-read and well-informed than the average talk-show host.) He's quick-witted, extroverted, and very likeable.
    In fact, Todd says lots more shocking and potentially explosive things than we ever write here at PyroManiacs, but he gets by with it because he is not brusque or short of change in the humble purse. I especially loved his answer to the atheist's question, "How can people know that your God is the one true God when so many other religions claim the exact same thing?" Todd's answer (starting at about 27:05 on the same broadcast I just linked to) is a masterpiece of brevity and clarity. If you want more context, start listening at 25:00.
    Forget that. Just listen to the whole broadcast. Stay tuned at least till you hear his spot-on paraphrase of the Emergent message at about 43:40. You'll thank me for introducing you to Todd.
    Way of the Master is the ministry founded by Ray Comfort. Kirk Cameron co-hosts their television broadcast, which is also excellent.

    Oh, yeah. Back to BlogSpotting:

  • John Hollandsworth explains why Challies is so much more popular than we are.

  • Danny Wright pays a high compliment to our Dan Phillips. (He referenced Dan here, too.)

  • William Dicks likewise thinks Dan is "absolutely brilliant."

  • Will at "Prydain" posts something that nicely complements one of Dan's classic Pyro posts.

  • David C. Kanz also expands on a "Classic Dan" post.

  • Tom Ascol reminds me about a conference I need to prepare for. It's the 2006 Brandon Biblical Theology Conference, in the Tampa Bay area, October 12-14. I hope some of the teeming hordes of PyroManiacs readers in central Florida will show up. Actually, if I got to meet even two or three Pyro regulars, it would make me happy.

  • Eddie Beal leads off with a Pyro-worthy graphic and makes sure to mention all of us. Way to get BlogSpotted, Eddie.

  • Brad Huston scolds me again. I'll scold him back a little bit in the upcoming post about Slice of Laodicea.

  • "Mustard Grains" at "More, Please," found Dan Phillips's remarks about the Trinity helpful.

  • Janet Lee thanks me for BlogSpotting her last weekend by making a virtual postcard with a aerial photos of my old neighborhood.

  • Mark Minnick thinks aloud about fundamentalism, separatism, and the question of due process. This interview will be most meaningful if you're a fundamentalist, but the whole thing is well worth listening to. Warning to non-fundamentalists: Dr. Minnick could force you to revise whatever caricature of fundamentalism you might be carrying around in your head. He's had that effect on me.
    Incidentally, the SharperIron podcast ought to be required listening for all serious Pyro readers.

  • Bob Hayton ponders the sacrament of the altar call and the legacy of Mr. Finney.

  • Chris Anderson links to one of my sermons.

  • Even James White noticed us this week.

  • Matt Gumm wonders if Frank Turk has jumped the shark.

  • But Gavin Brown thinks Frank has given us the coolest T-shirts ever in the history of earth.

  • Connor Carney thinks Frank made some very astute observations about the Emerging Church Movem— Conv— thingy. We think all Frank's observations are worth their weight in gold.

  • Lindon Coffee also thinks Frank is one sharp guy.

  • And Richard Hobson at "Castle Sands" gives Frank "Quote of the Day" honors—then promptly retires from the blogosphere. I think I get it.

    and finally . . .

  • somehow this made me think of The Blue Raja

  • I think this guy has commented here a time or two, also.

    Phil's signature


    Caleb Kolstad said...

    It's college football season so no one is posting today!

    Sharon said...

    Oregon 48 - Stanford 10. GO DUCKS!

    Oh, and I think you're right, Phil. I had some interesting dialog with people who subscribe to the the "Druggy's" philosophy of learning. *sigh*

    Carla said...

    Oh Phil... the "druggy idiot in jail"...

    That was painful. I have to go now & reduce the oxygen in my brain.


    centuri0n said...

    The TR police are headed to Gumm's house the weekend to give him a baptism test.

    And I love it when I'm the reason people get blogspotted. :-)

    centuri0n said...

    You video-browsing git. You can't be that busy at work if you keep finding these clips at YoutTube and YahooVideo.

    The monkey cannot be Raja: he's too involved with enlightenment classes like "branches" and "swinging. The monkey also did not send me an e-mail about recent events, so I have no sympathy for the monkey.

    As for the guy who got smart through drugs, he'll be an emergent pastor before the end of 2007. He's authentic -- and his brilliant ad-hoc delivery would make a video series at least as compelling as Nooma.

    Phil Johnson said...


    1. It's a holiday weekend. I did no work today. (First time since New Year's day.)

    2. My mistake. I thought that was the next Nooma video.

    3. Wait till you see Pecadillo's video list.

    4. I was not suggesting that the monkey might be Raja in costume; merely that he seems to have been trained by Raja.

    Gummby said...

    This ought to get the Baptism police off my back.

    As far as the Jason Todd thing, let the record show I brought him up not because I aspire to be him, but as recognition of just how ethereal this gig really is. Oh, and on a related note, the Pyromaniacs: Behind the Blog post has been postponed indefinitely.

    Schreef said...

    I've been a missionary for almost 30 years - first to Africa, and now to Holland.
    There's nothing like the missionary experience to cause one to ask sincere questions about the paradigms that we got in church growing up and in our theological education.
    I am trying to sincerely deal with the world around me, holding on to what is true about the Gospel while finding answers to the questions the culture(s) I live in asks, questions which I never heard growing up, and for which no answers were given (logical).
    The negativity about "emergent" and others trying to deal with those kinds of issues is really hard on me.
    I feel often labeled and sent to the back of the class with a dunce cap on (or is it the front? I've forgotten).
    The "Way of the Master" podcast is very demoralizing to me, not even so much because I don't agree with what the men are trying to say, but because I feel the duncecap being set on my head and the sincerity of my heart and those of many I know being trampled under their hard heels.
    I've just been in the world of (Christian/conservative) blogging for a few months, but it is pretty vicious.
    Too bad - makes it hard for me to learn from it.
    As the Archbishop of Canterbury said in the run-up to the Iraq war: If the only weapon you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
    I am not a nail.........

    Carla said...

    I'm not even 10 minutes into Todd "Freakishly Tall" Friel and I like this guy already.

    See, blogspotting is good for you. It may not contain 11 essential vitamins and minerals, but it's still good for you all the same.


    TheBlueRaja said...

    I died laughing. How do you find stuff like that?

    TheBlueRaja said...


    My expertly-trained monkey minions will soon sweep the earth and your sympathy will be reserved for those who foolishly stand in our way.

    Antonio said...

    Mr. Phil Johnson,

    I look forward to your posts regarding any topic of lordship salvation soteriology and its corrolaries with the attendent well-reasoned exegetical content.

    Funny that I cannot be taken seriously when I have many biblical articles and posts on my blog.

    Recently, Matthew Waymeyer, young prodigy of your stellar status link Faith and Practice, posted on Acts 17:30, 31 in support of his Lordship Salvation and in critique of Free Grace theology.

    I have since constructed a 7 part response to him on my blog (which can be accessed through my profile) that is anything but a hit-and-run expedition.

    To my response to Matthew Waymeyer, he nor any other of blogdom's Reformed fraternity made comment.

    Bud Brown's recent articles (one which you have linked to and another which is linked to on that post) shows the one-sidedness of the discussion.

    I go to great lengths and much effort to respond to the mischaracterizations, faulty perceptions, and out-right falsehoods of the antagonists to Free Grace theology.

    Although I have left curt messages on post threads, I often just leave a link on them and give a thorough response to them on my blog.

    No one who has spent but a few moments on my blog and read my entries could come to the conclusion that I am not serious.

    You would have known that if you had spent anytime whatsoever perusing my blog. Yet you merely characterize me by some comments I have made in the meta. I do not believe that you have judged with righteous judgment.


    Antonio da Rosa

    Phil Johnson said...

    Antonio: A person who constantly fishes for controversy about one pet issue and endlessly recycles the same tired arguments is no more serious than the violin player who plays the same trill on one string and never plays anything else. He may think he has really mastered that trill and is therefore a virtuoso, but he is not truly serious about playing the violin. He might protest against that judgment by pointing out that playing the violin is the only thing he ever does. But no one who knows anything about music would take him seriously.

    In other words, taking yourself too seriously is not the same thing as being serious.

    centuri0n said...

    Or his debate with me at DebateBlog, Phil. What he said, plus his participation over at DebateBlog.

    Shame on you. Antonio has never left the Blogosphere in a huff, or bailed out of direct examination, or ... or ... or ...

    Oh wait: I'm thinking of Brian the atheist. I think Antonio is, too.

    centuri0n said...


    To be uncharacteristically serious for a moment, I like the nature of your complaint. That is, you have 30 years experience in evangelism and church planting, and you don't like what you see in the blogs or (for example) at WOTM. Somehow we make you feel like you're wearing a "dunce cap".

    There's no way to invalidate feelings, is there? You feel that way, and that's all there is to it: that's how you feel. I think that's an important point to take into consideration.

    Let's assume that I do not want you to feel that way anymore, and let's assume that Phil and Dan don't want you to feel that way anymore, either.

    Can you tell us what we could do or stop doing which would make you stop feeling like you are wearing the dunce cap? This is not a request to start fighting: this is a request to understand the concern you have provided here, and to make this blog as much as possible about delivering the Gospel to a world which needs it. The advice of a 30-year evangelist must be worth something to that end.

    Thanks. Looking forward to your suggestings.

    Matt Waymeyer said...


    Just in case you didn't see it, about a week I posted a brief response to you on the comment thread of my original article on "Free Grace" and Acts 17:30-31. I'm guessing it falls short of the dramatic showdown you were hoping for, but perhaps just knowing I haven't ignored you entirely will help you sleep better at night.

    TheBlueRaja said...

    Salient comment, schreef. I'd love to hear more.

    Antonio said...


    Lordship Salvation aims a fatal blow at the very heart of Christ's saving message.

    The quest to defend doctrinal clarity and precision on issues salvific in response to those "evangelicals" who promulgate this false gospel may seem but a "trill on one string" to those whose soteriology, in all practicality, aligns closely with Arminianism and Roman Catholicism.

    But, to those of us, who understand the absolute freeness of Christ's guarantee of eternal life and resurrection to the one who receives it by taking Christ at His word (by a single, simple act of faith), in opposition to those who believe that salvation is "costly" to the sinner, the mission to present the gospel clearly without the multitudinous caveats, conditions, and provisos heaped on by the Lordship proponents that add various works on the front-end is an endeavor of the greatest import.

    The simple message of Christ explains how one is introduced into a relationship with God. Therefore the distortions of Lordship Salvation have grave consequence, and I am not one to stand idly by and allow the freeness of the water of life to be characterized as costing a man everything (or anything) as for instance when James Montgomery Boice states, "...we must count the cost, by all means, but then we must pay it joyfully and willingly, knowing that this must be done if a person is to be saved." (Christ's Call to Discipleship, 112) or when John MacArthur writes, "Salvation is both free and costly... [Jesus] demanded that we count the cost carefully. He was calling for an exchange of all that we are for all that He is. He was demanding implicit obedience (The Gospel According to Jesus, 147).

    Any other discussion in Christian doctrine must presuppose the apprehension of the true and saving message of Christ. Therefore, for those who have not yet apprehended, it is of utmost urgency that they do.

    Preserving and proclaiming Christ's free offer of eternal life in light of the many and various attacks against it from all quarters (including "evangelical") may seem like a one-note strum to you, but to those who are being saved, it is the blended and harmonic notes of a full symphony orchestra.


    Antonio da Rosa

    Antonio said...


    Explaining why you refuse and fail to give a response to my respectful posts is hardly a "response".

    It is a bit disingenuous to enter yourself into the fray with articles that substantially mischaracterize Free Grace theology and then remove yourself from the discussion when someone calls you on it.

    Your decisions to speak authoratatively on Free Grace theology, and in opposition to it, in a sense, necessitate that you interact with those of the Free Grace persuasion. Otherwise, it will paint you as one who asserts and contends much about a position that you find objectionable, yet at the same time refusing to interact with those who intelligently contradict your arguments. This speaks volumes.

    It is is disturbing that you engage in one-sided attacks on Free Grace theology.

    You have placed yourself in the role of a teacher who refuses accountability.

    I can't for the life of me understand why you would not at least read the cogent, respectful, and well-articulated objections I had to your post. I know that your posts are considerably in reply to my ministry in the blogosphere. Therefore it puzzles me all the more.

    Schreef said...


    I have tried to respond to you. I did it on my own blog. It's a little too long for Comments:


    I hope it helps.

    DJP said...

    Antonio -- lengthy responses are not necessarily a sign of solid contents.

    They can also be a sign that it takes a lot of work, and many windy words, to pervert plain teaching.

    And Gutless Grace advocates have to do a lot of work to pervert Scripture their way.

    Matt Waymeyer said...


    I hate to disappoint you, but my articles on "Free Grace" were not written with you in mind. I wrote them in response to published works by Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin and with the goal of exposing the harmful errors they teach. I gave up reading your blog some time ago. I believe my last comment there was challenging you to come clean about lying in response to your plagarism. Or was it refusing to repent of your plagarism? I can't remember which.

    Anyway, when Nathan Busenitz asked me to join Faith & Practice almost a year ago, I agreed to do so with the condition that I wouldn't be required to spend truckloads of time responding to comments in the comment thread. The blogosphere is far from being a top priority in my life, and even though I often do respond to commenters, I rarely feel an obligation to do so. You might say that I function very much in the spirit of rule #1 here at Pyro: "Don't expect [me] to reply to your comments."

    Frankly, it matters little to me that you think this makes me disingenuous. I am confident that other bloggers, particularly those who know your track record, will not fault me for deciding not to read and respond to the seven-part series on your blog. Nor will they fault me for refusing to waste any more time arguing with you about why I'm not planning to argue with you.

    At the same time, I do thank you for your concern about my reputation. I fully realize how a man's reputation precedes him and can limit his future influence among other others, even on the blogosphere. I would never want that to happen to me; seems like it could be very frustrating. Of course, if it did, I guess I could always pretend my lack of influence had nothing to do with me and my character and was only because other people just weren't up to the task of answering my cogent, respectful, and well-articulated arguments.

    Hanging up the phone now.

    northWord said...

    (pokes head in here quietly to say):

    wonderful new references put together in your post, this looks like alot of work!

    Perfect description of Todd.... I just love listening to him and the show in general. One thing I really like about Todd is he's easy to relate too in that he doesn't pretend to know all the answers to everything and he doesn't have problem telling you that, though it is very clear after you've listened enough, that this is a man who knows his stuff, and then some.

    Thank you for the mention, that was unexpected and very nice. I appreciate the acknowledgement that I did indeed have "some very nice things to say", as a matter of fact I thought I started sounding too gushy, ..so much for the attempt at good measure, hence un-intentionally tipping the scales off in the wrong direction.. (she smiled)

    and Thanks for the video laughs too.....they were a purrrrfect ending to this post ..


    Keith said...


    You wrote: "Dr. Minnick could force you to revise whatever caricature of fundamentalism you might be carrying around in your head. He's had that effect on me."

    If you have the time, and charity allows a public answer, would you explain your comment further?

    Granted, Dr. Minnick is no snake handling, illiterate, KJV only fundamentalist. Nevertheless, he was a BJU loyalist throughout the whole "MacArthur is a heretic on the blood" sideshow. To my knowledge he never publicly challenged the official BJU position.

    His type of BJU loyalty forms a large part of my view of fundamentalism.


    Jonathan Moorhead said...

    Phil, Dan, and Matt. Nice work with Antonio. I do think this is the first time I've seen "Free Grace" named as "Gutless Grace." And the violin bit . . . priceless. I admit I had to chuckle.

    Phil Johnson said...


    In a message I gave at the Shepherds Conference some 5 years ago, I decried the deliberate, systemic anti-intellectualism of classic lowbrow (IFB-Hyles-Sword of the Lord-style) fundamentalism. I suggested that the label fundamentalism is an oxymoron when applied to that variety of religion, because practically no one in that movement is even capable of identifying and articulating the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. Much less are those doctrines actually essential to the identity of that movement.

    Mark Minnick wrote me a gracious reply suggesting that there is a whole strand of fundamentalism I had not yet been exposed to. I subsequently met him and listened to his sermons, and I have to admit that (in the same way my harshest criticisms of the "Emerging Church" don't necesarily apply to Mark Driscoll) my concerns about fundamentalist anti-intellectualism wouldn't really apply to Dr. Minnick and fundamentalists like him.

    That's what I meant by the comment above. I think Minnick has lots of things to say that are well worth listening to.

    While I wouldn't affirm the rigidity of Dr. Minnick's views on separatism, and there's no question he is an unwavering BJU loyalist (he is, after all, on their faculty), I wouldn't see a great and impassible gulf between his position and mine (though I think he might think the gulf between us is impassible).

    On the other hand, I would regard Hyles-style "fundamentalism" as cultish.

    As far as I'm concerned, these distinctions between flavors of "fundamentalism" are at least as important as the distinctions between different sub-species of "Emerging" leaders.

    Keith said...


    Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to respond.

    I agree completely with your response. There is a huge distinction between the BJU/Minnick brand of fundamentalism and the Hyles brand. At least there is today.

    At root, there probably always has been. However, there was a time, not too long ago, when Hyles would speak at BJU. Furthermore, it seems that even today the BJU type fundamentalists will put up with the Hyles type fundamentalists much more readily than they will put up with your type of evangelical.

    That reality, or perceived reality, makes up a large part of my "caracature" of funadmentalism. And, to the extent it is accurate, I find it unacceptable.

    Thanks again for the response.

    Cindy said...

    Thanks so much for the link, Phil (I'm tardy in my thanks, because I was offline for the whole Labor Day weekend.) I was hoping my interview with Don Elbourne would garner as big of an audience as possible, because Lakeshore still needs so much help...and your link helped me achieve that goal. You're the best!

    Antonio said...


    you may want to blogspot Jodie Sawyer, aka H.K. Flynn who wrote concerning you and Matthew Waymeyer:

    Hear no (Antonio) See no (Antonio) Speak no (Antonio)

    Antonio said...

    Dan Phillips:

    How would you know unless you engaged? To simply turn up the nose and find oneself much too important to respond to the "nattering nabobs" of the "Gutless Grace" persuasion is an example of the pompous elitism that deeply characterizes the Traditionalists like yourself.

    Which of the prophets did not your father's persecute

    Antonio da Rosa

    Lou Martuneac said...


    Sorry for the late entry here, but I want to get something I believe is very important on record.

    I want to dispel the misnomer being spread by some Grace Evangelical Society (GES) members, especially Antonio da Rosa. The misnomer, and it is a major misnomer, is that GES is the voice of the Free Grace movement in general.

    The GES has in fact become a shrinking cell of extremists that have fallen into the trap of Zane Hodges’ “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel. This “contrary doctrine” of Hodges and Bob Wilkins’s “Crossless/Deityless” interpretation of the Gospel has been the cause of “division and offences” in the FG camp and churches. (Rom. 16:17-18).

    The teachings of Hodges is what has come to be known and accurately defined as the Crossless Gospel,” “ReDefined Free Grace Theology” and the “Promise Only Gospel.” It is largely because of GES’s heretical views of the Gospel; many men in the Free Grace community have separated from GES and do not want their name or ministry to be identified with the GES.

    The Free Grace Alliance (FGA) was formed in part to become and is the new home of many men who have departed GES over the egregious errors coming from Hodges and Wilkin.

    Exposure of the egregious errors of Hodges, Wilkin, Neimela, Myers, and lesser knowns like Antonio da Rosa has put GES in cardiac arrest. It is my hope and prayer the GES is soon to become totally isolated and outside any relevant discussion of the Gospel. May I share this article with your guests, Is “ReDefined” Free Grace Theology- Free Grace Theology?

    The article will help them understand that Hodges & Wilkin and especially Antonio da Rosa, do not speak for and do NOT represent the general population of men who identify themselves as members of the so-called Free Grace community.

    The Free Grace community has been fractured, and it is a good fracture in that large numbers of FG men have withdrawn from GES over the Hodges/Wilkin “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel.

    Lord willing not one more unsuspecting believer will fall into the trap of the Crossless gospel.


    PS: Naturally, you and I will never agree on the LS view, but I wanted to get cleared up.